This is a tutorial or a simple “how-to” guide to help you with your design projects. This is not the end-all, be-all way of doing things. We will try to make what is normally a long and detailed process of creating commercial art into a simple and easy-to-follow guide. We encourage your use of artistic license and creative vision to make high quality work for your clients.
I wrote a brief tutorial on Apparel Design roughly a year ago for Go Media, the source for web development in Cleveland and it received a lot of good response. But it’s a bit outdated now. We’ve done lots more apparel work, including stuff for Avenged Sevenfold, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Evanescence, Atticus Clothing, Strhess Clothing, and tons more notable bands and clothing companies.
Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot about what’s hot in today’s “underground” fashion market. And when I say underground, it’s actually not so underground. Just take a peek into your local Hot Topic or Pac Sun and you’re going to see some great apparel graphics. And this tutorial will show you just how it’s done.
Everything you see in Hot Topic or Pac Sun these days features some combination of skulls, flourishes, splatters, and miscellaneous grunge effects. Why? Don’t ask me, but I’m sure it’s got something to do with the recent rise of popular screamo, metalcore, and hardcore bands into the mainstream. With bands like Avenged Sevenfold and My Chemical Romance paving the way for that ultra sceneXcore aesthetic. Which can look ultra lame if done bad, but hella cool if done right. And I’ll show you how it’s done right.
Before You Begin
How do you make all those flourishes, splatters, and other design elements? Well, some do it by hand and draw their own flourishes, wings, skulls, etc. But what most t-shirt designers are doing these days is using stock design elements and clip art. Old floral graphics and whatnot. It’s a quick and easy way to get that cool look without actually doing a lot of custom work.
We at Go Media prefer to create our own elements. But to make it easy on you, we’ve created a bunch of stock vector elements for you to get started right now. We’ve created custom shapes to destroy and beat up your designs at the highest quality possible. And just about every trendy element today is covered such as wings, crests, tech shapes and more. And they’re freakin cheap as hell. So if you want to skip the hard part and go straight to designing kick-ass apparel graphics, then check out our kick ass stock vector packages – for that ultra sceneXcore aesthetic!
On With the Tutorial!
You’ll need these:
— Illustrator CS2
So with that said, let’s get on with the tutorial! First you need to open up Photoshop and Illustrator, as you’ll be using both. Mostly Illustrator. So get that Pen Tool ready!